Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff
Most of the liferaft mountings appear to be not well thought through. Most would get torn off or be impossible to reach when needed.
Deploying them in the marina looks difficult enough let alone in the dark, in heavy seas and rain and while the crew is stressed disoriented and likely to make stupid mistakes
A rugged liferaft is likely to be heavy too. Choosing by minimum weight also seems to be an odd way to prioritize.
If anyone has tried to deploy and get into a liferaft you will quickly realize how difficult it is.
You also need more than a liferaft. What about the ditchbag? It's like carrying a suitcase while walking a tightrope in the dark while drunk.
Those earlier pics by steady hand would all fail any safety assessment. Look to your navy
for best practice. They don't hang their liferafts off the side. They also have to prove out their safety systems before they become operational. Training and practice is key.
Agreed about mounting locations being critical and often not seaworthy
stores its life raft in a SS cage cutout in the front trampoline, against the inside of the hull
, held in place by a set of webbing straps. During a recent passage
to NZ we lost
the life raft some time during the fourth night. We were experiencing 25-30 knots of true wind
at 80-90 degrees true wind
angle with 5m breaking swells, sailing at 9-12 knots with double-reefed main and 50% solent. As you can imagine, we had a lot of breaking waves over the bows, occasionally with waves washing
over the cabin
top, and many high pressure wave impacts on the inside front hulls, especially to leeward (we were on port tack, and the life raft was on the starboard side).
At some point one of the stainless steel
bails on the stainless steel
cage broke at its weld, which released one of the straps that hold the fibreglass tray that the life raft sits on. This tray broke and this was enough to provide slack to all the straps that hold the life raft and the life raft washed away. As it fell out of the life raft cage it broke part of the plastic fairing in front of the escape hatch
on that side. The painter broke and I assume that the force was enough to inflate the life raft, now floating empty in the South Pacific
400 miles north of New Zealand
. I have called the NZ rescue centre to report the loss of the life raft.
It is apparently a builder
option for Outremers whether to store the life raft in a cage on the front trampoline or in a cockpit
locker. Unfortunately for us the first owner of our boat decided they wanted the cockpit
locker space (there are 8 large lockers back there).
Back to the original question, I'm not going to replace the life raft (which came with the boat). Our cat will float right side up or upside down and makes a better rescue platform than a life raft. In case of fire, we have a dinghy on davits
ready to go anytime. So what is the need for a life raft?